My First Love is Christ. The Testimony of Cathryne and Jerrin.
Cathryne grew up with deep roots in the Lutheran tradition. She went to church regularly with her family and spent most of her adolescent years trying to figure out how she was going to work her way into heaven. She never got into trouble growing up, performed well in school, and decided at an early age that she was going to be a doctor so she could help to save lives as a good Christian should. Then when she went off to college, her focus began to shift. During her freshman year at Bradley University, she met this cute guy on the soccer team named Jerrin. They began to form a friendship, which eventually grew into a romantic relationship her sophomore year. Although Cathryne didn’t totally dismiss her faith in college, her relationship with God took a back seat to Jerrin, as he was the love of her life and became the center of her world. Cathryne's desire to express her love for Jerrin both emotionally and physically, eventually caused her to dismiss her childhood beliefs that she should wait to have sex until marriage. That was an outdated religious rule she thought, and she should be able to express her feelings for her boyfriend freely.
Things were going well in their relationship, until all of a sudden, Cathryne noticed a shift in Jerrin. He recently started attending an athlete bible study at Bradley, led by the Campus Outreach ministry, and after a few months of attending, he decided to give his life to God. Jerrin felt so strongly about his newfound faith that he wanted to share his experience with Cathryne. Although she wasn’t opposed to his love for God, Cathryne still was not at a place where her faith was a priority in her life. Eventually, Jerrin came to a point where he felt that dating Cathryne was getting in the way of him developing a relationship with God, so on December 31, 2014, he broke up with her.
Cathryne was devastated. She couldn’t understand at the time why he would allow something like his faith to get in between their relationship. This sent Cathryne into a downward spiral. She started drinking, partying, and seeing various guys, all in hopes of numbing the pain that she felt from losing Jerrin. Meanwhile, Courtney, a woman who was on staff with the Campus Outreach program, started reaching out to Cathryne to share the message of the gospel with her. Courtney expressed to Cathryne that she was currently trying to fill the void inside her heart with things of the world, that could only be filled by the love of God. As time progressed, Cathryne started to embrace the biblical teachings that Courtney was sharing with her. Her faith was solidified that summer when she had the opportunity to go to a Christian camp following her junior year. Cathryne returned from that camp a new woman. Her faith was on fire, and her new focus became spreading the word of God and making disciples.
Throughout her senior year, she held bible studies and used every opportunity she could to share her faith with the people she knew. She understood that it was through God’s grace that she had been saved, and wanted others to know of how good her Father in heaven is. After graduation in 2016, she moved to Indianapolis, to participate in Teach for America because she understood that to surrender her life to Christ meant to give him control of every aspect of her life—including her career.
While Cathryne and Jerrin continued in pursuit of Christ, their first love, God allowed their paths to cross again. God redeemed their relationship, and within a year of them reconnecting, Jerrin proposed. Cathryne and Jerrin became husband and wife in December 2017, and through their ministry of marriage, they work as a team to show others the love and faithfulness of Christ. Their story is a true testimony of God’s sovereignty, and while it is easy to get caught up in the love story of Jerrin and Cathryne, there is a greater love story at work—and that is the love of the Creator of heaven and earth and His pursuit of the hearts of His children.
If you were encouraged by this week's Faith Friday Feature, be sure to subscribe to receive other testimonies of faith once a week. New to Faith on the Journey? Check out other Faith Friday testimonies here.